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Places > Lidlington

1086: Lidlington mentioned in the Domesday Book. It was the property of the Abbess of Barking from that time until 1537 when all monastical estates were surrendered to the Crown. The manor remained Crown property for over 90 years. From 1774-1801 it belonged to the Earl of Upper Ossory. The village later passed into the ownership of the Dukes of Bedford.

1247: The Abbess of Barking erected a gallows in the parish. This had to be removed as she had not gained permission from the King.

1560: Parish registers started in Lidlington.

1766: The famous preacher John Wesley visited the parish.

1776: The village enclosed by a private Act. Enclosure was the fencing off of land by landlords to increase agricultural production. It often resulted in social unrest because it prevented tenants using the land to graze their own animals.

1801: Population numbers 559 people

1805: The Primitive Methodist Chapel built in Church Street.

1809: A dairyman called James Crick and his housekeeper Rebecca Read found dead in a dreadful double murder. The crime remained unsolved until thirty years later when, on his deathbed, a former constable of the village (and later an Ampthill butcher) confessed to his murder.

1811: Population numbers 621 people.

1821: Population numbers 739 people.

1831: Population numbers 814 people.

1841: Population numbers 926 people.

1846: The train line opens between Bedford and Bletchley with a new station at Lidlington.

1849: The Gentleman's Magazine described Lidlington as follows "Lidlington, near the principal road from Woburn to Bedford, is in a hilly position, and is reckoned the first picturesque object on the Bedford side: the view is very beautiful on a minor scale."

1851: Population numbers 853 people.

1861: Population numbers 845 people.

1863: The Wesleyan Methodist Chapel built in High Street.

1871: Population numbers 827 people.

1881: Population numbers 657 people.

1886: A new church built to replace the old St. Margaret's Church as it had become too dangerous to use. The church was funded by the ninth Duke of Bedford at an estimated cost of 3,500. The builders were Messrs Edmund Roberts and son of Weedon, Northamptonshire.

1889: A. J. Foster describes the village of Lidlington in his "Tourists Guide to Bedfordshire" thus "The village of Lidlington lies most picturesquely at the foot of the wooded hills.  The old church (All Saints), situated in a lovely churchyard halfway up the hill, was  partly built at the beginning of the present century, but was soon in so dilapidated a condition, on account of its insecure position on sliding sand, that a new church was built in the village by the Duke of Bedford in 1886...."

1891: Population numbers 600 people.

1901: Population numbers 515 people.

1911: Population numbers 502 people.

1917: An extract from Lidlington School log book records that there were numerous admissions to the school owing to Zeppelin raids on London and people moving from the city.

1921: Population numbers 498 people.

1929: An extract from Lidlington School log book records that lessons were suspended to enable the children to see the R101 airship in flight.

1931: Population numbers 515 people.

1939: An extract from Lidlington School log book records that the children were given a gas mask drill in the school.

1940: An extract from Lidlington School log book records that many hours were spent by the children in the air raid shelters.

1951: Population numbers 833 people.

1961: Population numbers 917 people.

1967: Vauxhall given permission to build a vehicle proving ground on land near Lidlington and Millbrook by Ampthill Rural District Council.  Work began on the two mile circuit in 1968.

1968: Approval given to build a new school in the village. Thomas Johnson School was built by C.A. White and cost 33,803.5s.0d

1971: Population numbers 1096 people.

1981: Population numbers 1063 people.

1991: population numbers 1069 people.

2001: Village Post Office closed. It was later re-opened in the Green Man public house, the first pub in Bedfordshire to run a post office. In December 2004 an appeal went out to try and recruit a new sub-postmaster to stop the post office from closing once more.


Page last updated: 3rd February 2014